Consequences of Dehydration

Dehydration can affect endurance, strength and cognition.

written by: Colby Connell

Studies show that up to 87% of endurance athletes are physically impaired during their workouts and competitions due to dehydration, despite ample access to fluids. Dehydration causes the following physiological phenomena.

⬢ Decreased blood pressure
⬢ Increased heart rate
⬢ Increased respiratory rate
⬢ Decreased blood flow to extremities

These physiological changes can lead to cardio-respiratory stress, impaired thermoregulation, and fatigue – all of which have a significant impact on athletic performance.

Because the symptoms of mild dehydration are subtle – often imperceptible – athletes suffer the consequences without always knowing it.

Finish Strong or Struggle?

Proper hydration is central to feeling energized and motivated. Fatigue and physiological strain manifest at dehydration levels as low as 2%, making a workout feel sluggish and heavy-legged. This not only leads to an athlete feeling flat and listless, but also compromises the quality of the workout and training potential.

Studies show a significant drop in performance at mild dehydration levels as low as 2-3%. This impairment manifests itself in multiple ways.